Special visitors to Red Hall Nursery open day

Leeds Children's Mayor Oliver Larkin with fellow pupils from Bardsey Primary School and the new Tropical World meerkat mascot at the Redhall open weekend. (S)

Leeds Children's Mayor Oliver Larkin with fellow pupils from Bardsey Primary School and the new Tropical World meerkat mascot at the Redhall open weekend. (S)

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Visitors flocked to the free open days at Red Hall Nursery in Shadwell recently with one attraction in particular being the focus of attention.

The open days showcased the range of services carried out by Leeds City Council’s parks and countryside service attracted more than 3,000 people of all ages.

The open days also featured the first public appearance by the new official mascot of Tropical World – a giant meerkat.

The new mascot, in honour of the most famous residents of the popular Roundhay Park visitor attraction, is now the subject of a competition open to all primary schools in Leeds to give he or she a name.

Suggestions for the name, which can be male or female, can be given one each per class by emailing Parks.Competitions@leeds.gov.uk before the deadline of Monday 1 July.

The winning school will be the first to be visited by the meerkat to meet the class who provided the chosen name.

Among those to meet the mascot was Leeds Children’s Mayor Oliver Larkin, who was joined by fellow pupils from Bardsey Primary School in attending the open days.

Aside from meeting the new mascot, they got to see birds of prey, reptiles, tractors as well as a range of masterclasses and demonstrations plus taking on football and golf challenges.

Leeds City Council executive member for the environment Councillor Mark Dobson said: “It was fantastic to see so many people attending the open days at Red Hall and especially the range of ages of people keen to find out more about the services our parks and countryside officers provide.

“The new meerkat mascot was especially popular with the families and younger visitors, so now it would be great to have every primary school in the city get involved in the competition to find a perfect name.”